Jaleesa Padmore

Experience Arts Internship Scheme  
BA Theology and Religion, 2019

Tell us a bit about your internship.

Hello, my name is Jaleesa Padmore. I’m a Theology and Religion graduate and I took part in the Experience Arts programme as an Assistant Curator at Ort Gallery. My main responsibilities were to lead the creation of an exhibition. I created floor plans and worked with the gallery's art director to decide which artwork to feature in the exhibition.

I also assisted with the installation process, helped to plan the opening event, and created some of the social media marketing content, and also assisted some of the artists with their workshops.

Why did you apply to the Experience Arts internship? 

I was told about the Experience Arts programme from my coach because I was also on the Transformation West Midlands coaching programme. So, we've been talking a lot about what kind of career path I’d want to go down because I didn't really have anything specific in mind after graduating. So, I thought it would be a great opportunity to just explore my options.

So, when I was looking through roles on the programme it was also very enlightening because I didn’t really know a lot about the art sector. I didn't really know what kind of things were out there, what was possible, so it was a good opportunity to just go through, see what interested me and when I found the assistant arts curator role, I thought it sounded really interesting. It's not something I really considered before so I thought, give it a go.

What did you gain from doing the Experience Arts Internship? 

My problem-solving skills greatly improved as a result of the internship. I had to think on my feet and come up with innovative ways of overcoming obstacles, especially during the installation week when a lot of things didn't go to plan. I also got better at communicating as I spoke to a wide variety of people from the art director, to artists, to visitors, to staff members and volunteers.

I also had to learn how to effectively communicate and deliver my plans and ideas so that everyone involved knew exactly what I wanted to do and then could give feedback. I also received a lot of mentorship and support from gallery staff members who have given me a lot of guidance about pursuing a career in the arts and also offered to help me with my CV and applications as well.

What are your top tips for applying to the Experience Arts Internships? 

My tips for applying to the internship programme would be to look very carefully at what each organization is looking for. Do your research and show genuine interest in what they do.

Also use the opportunity not only to learn about the specific role, but also to learn about yourself, what kind of things do you like doing, what do you not like doing, what do you want your future career to look like. Because regardless of whether you choose to go down that specific career path or not, it'll be very beneficial for you for the future.

Also push yourself out of your comfort zone, do as many different things as you can even if you think you might not like it because you could surprise yourself.

Also know your limits, don't take on too much. If there's a problem, don't be afraid to flag it up or ask any questions and just make the most of it.


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